For those not familiar with the term "green" it refers to an item that is natural, organic or environmentally friendly.
As you can imagine, we produce tons of waste during and after the holiday season. Let us show some compassion on the environment during this season of compassion! Here are a few ways we can reduce waste, help protect the environment and enjoy a "greener" Christmas:
Christmas tree Rather than buying a tree to be thrown away, purchase a large potted plant or small tree that can be used each year as your "evergreen" Christmas tree. Purchase an artificial tree that can be reused for many years.
Purchase your evergreen from a tree farm as these trees are renewable.
Christmas décor Make a homemade wreath using branches trimmed from your garden.
Rather than purchase outdoor décor, decorate the trees and bushes in your yard with homemade décor that will survive a few weeks of winter weather.
Purchase handmade décor made from recycled or eco-friendly materials. Fair trade crafts are a great way to support the disadvantaged. While some of these crafts may not be from recycled materials they provide much needed income to needy individuals.
Christmas tree ornaments Make homemade ornaments from fruit, dried Indian corn, (painted) pinecones, dough, painted eggshells, crushed (colored) aluminum foil, paper chains, paper snowflakes, small stuffed animals, old CDs and more! Decorate a doll as an angel.
Do an online search for recycled or homemade tree ornaments for numerous ideas. Purchase recycled or eco-friendly tree ornaments such as the vegetable ivory - tagua nut tree ornaments.
Collect extra photocopies or no longer needed papers from your business for your children to draw on the back side.
Use colored pictures from your children's coloring books. Save the comic section each week to build up a collection of colorful wrapping paper.
Use leftover pieces of fabric or wallpaper.
Use recycled paper.
Put the gift inside another gift such as a piece of Tupperware, decorative tin, nice wooden box, baking pan, wrapped in a towel, etc. Use last season's gift wrap, gift bags and gift boxes, ribbon and bows.
Greeting cards & gift tags Send an e-card.
Make a greeting card or tag from scrap paper, fabric or wallpaper.
For short messages use a large leaf or flat stone. Make cards or tags from pieces of a tissue or food box.
Packing material Use saved packing material such as peanuts and foam wrap.
Crush up newspaper into loose balls. This is cheap, quick and lightweight! This is our preferred method for box filler. It is also fun for your relatives, friends and customers to see a newspaper from another city. Purchase biodegradable peanuts.
Use dry air popcorn. By the way there is no need to salt it! J (Popcorn popped in oil will obviously make a mess and go right through your box!) Include a note for the recipient to feed it to neighborhood squirrels and birds or whatever creatures lurk in the night!
Once the relatives go home and the kids return to school Are you overwhelmed with gift boxes and regular boxes? After (breaking down and) putting away as many as you can for future use, give away the rest to friends or a business or tear or cut them up for kindling for the fireplace or for your charcoal grill.
Find out your township's pick up schedule for trees. They will turn your trees into mulch for use in parks and public gardens. If you need mulch for your own garden check into having your tree and any other cuttings from your yard turned into mulch for your own use. Use any wrapping paper that is no longer reusable for shelf liners, scratch paper or craft projects.
Save boxes, gift bags, wrapping, filler, ribbons and bows for shipping, gift wrapping, craft projects and even storage containers.
Don't forget to share this information with others!
Have a merry green Christmas!
Written by: Ron Askotzky
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